PLANNING | Martins Bank conversion consented

The redevelopment of the listed Water Street landmark has been approved by Liverpool City Council’s planning committee for a second time, four years after the project was first proposed.

A previous application to convert the Herbert J Rowse-designed building into a hotel has lapsed, so the Principal Hotel Group resubmitted plans for the 215-bedroom hotel earlier this year. Brock Carmichael is the architect and Savills is advising as planner.

The building has been empty since Barclays moved out in the late 2000s.

Several other projects featured alongside Martins Bank on a packed committee agenda, with five other major projects consented.


Land on Upper Parliament Street


Developer: FBM UK

Architect: Wroot Design

Apartments: 95

Storeys: Three to five, in two blocks

Scheme: FBM is part of the Flanagan Group. The site is located between Upper Parliament Street and residential areas Carlingford Close and Verulam Close, with Princes Primary School to the east and the Caribbean Centre to the west, and is currently landscaped open space with paths forming a route to Upper Parliament Street. The site previously had housing on it, demolished around 1970. An application for 109 flats in five and six-storey blocks was refused in 2017 – changes made include a realigned, lit footpath through the scheme, while around two-fifths of the overall space will remain green and public. The site was previously owned by the city council, and sold to FBM.

Martins Bank

Martins Bank Building March 2019

Developer: Principal Hotel Group

Architect: Brock Carmichael

Planner: Savills

Hotel beds: 215

Scheme: The proposal differs from the 2015 application with changes including using the entire ground floor as a guest area, featuring a lounge, bar, restaurant, function rooms, reception and lobby. A new entrance is proposed on the Exchange Street West elevation. Kitchen, offices, and ancillary space are all also to be moved to the basement. The banking hall’s existing mezzanine will be used to provide 12 guest rooms. The former boardroom and directors’ dining rooms are to be retained as conferencing spaces, while a gym will be added. New rooftop extensions will provide enclosed spaces between the existing stone rooftop colonnades on the east and west of the building to form a sky bar on its west elevation, and a spa along its east elevation facing the town hall.

 St James Street

St James Street

Developer: Mersey Contractor

Architect: MgMa

Planner: GW Planning

Storeys: Seven, nine and 10

Apartments: 56

Scheme: The site sits within the eastern part of the Baltic Triangle, with boundaries to St James Street, Norfolk Street and Brick Street, and is bound to its west by Liver Oil & Grease. The applicant proposes 24 one-bed flats and 32 two-bed, with 10,555 sq ft of flexible commercial space.

Bling Building, Hanover Street

The Bling Bling Building Signature

Developer: Signature Living

Hotel beds: 33

Scheme: The applicant seeks a change of use from hair salon to hotel, featuring 33 beds in 18 suites, adding in a basement spa and a glazed rooftop extension including a bar. The five-storey building was designed by Piers Gough for famed local hairdresser Herbert Howe as part of the development of Liverpool One. Signature acquired the building in 2017.

Moss Street

Moss Street

Developer: Everbright Developments

Architect: Smith Young Architecture

Apartments: 42

Storeys: 8

Scheme: The site is within both the Knowledge Quarter and Islington Regeneration Quarter areas as defined by local planning documents. A proposal for 36 apartments over seven storeys was approved in 2017, but the developer has since declared that unviable.

Land at Wynnstay Street, Welsh Streets

Placefirst Welsh Streets

Developer: Placefirst

Architect: MCAU

Houses: 52

Scheme: The site, also fronting South Street, Voelas Street and Rhiwlas Street, is within the Welsh Streets area, which has been undergoing major refurbishment across terraced housing. The project is new-build terraces, with around two-thirds of the scheme to be built on derelict land, the rest of the site currently housing derelict or demolished homes. The Secretary of State refused consent for a proposal at the site, which sits on the edge of Princes Park, in 2015. Consultation on this £8m project was carried out in December.

Your Comments

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Well here’s to another 4 years of sitting on Martins bank before they sell it on.

What a farce.

By Michael McMoaner

Whatever happened to that ten streets revolving theatre that was supposed to rotate at 100 rpm and was one of the most innovative, world class, creative and global things ever imagined anywhere on the planet?

By Hyped Scouser

A much better scheme for Martin’s Bank! Now they realise Liverpool is the most profitable place to develop hotels we’re getting the quality.

By Roscoe

Not much to ‘moan’ about here. The North Shore is moving on nicely. The buzz when people alight from the great cruise liners – fab atmosphere here on Monday on the Waterfront – lifts your spirits!

By Roscoe

Where’s the effort guys? These are pretty poor

By Jo

Good to see some useable balcony’s on the Upper Parliament Street design. Tend to be lacking in Liverpool’s new apartment buildings.

By Anon

If you want quality take a look at Martin’s Bank Building then take a look at what is proposed at St James St. Whilst we cant have ‘wedding cake architecture’ for everything, it shows up the lack of imagination for some of the ‘architect’ designed buildings being proposed. Come on MgMa, it looks like a Building Surveyor has drawn that one!!!

By Billy

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